I’ve had a lot to say about controversial topics lately. The Cover of The Rolling Stone, The Zimmerman trial. I often talk about current events. And it’s interesting because my opinions (along with many other media outlets) and so much of the controversy revolves around the exploitation of these high-profile news stories. (These few stories being in the here and now- but also true at any time a topic goes viral).
Our nation was outraged when Juror B37 went on CNN’s Anderson Cooper and announced she had a book deal. People were furious that she would be able to profit from the tragedy. Petitions and a distaste for her blatent exploitation circulated and the book deal has since been cancelled.
But I think it’s important to point out the fact that she certainly isn’t the only one that was and is set to profit from the murder of Trayvon Martin and even the bombing of the Boston Marathon. Don’t for a second think that every major TV news station had played the trial live and had guests commenting on the case 24/7 because of their duty to report the story to the general public. N0- the nation was captivated while we live-tweeted their shows and their Nielsen ratings must’ve been through the roof. I’ve watched more CNN in the past few weeks than I had in the past few years put together. Glued to the screen as the real life court drama played out before us like a scene better written than books from John Grisham.
And on the sidelines I’ve heard people say things like, why is CNN playing trial news 24/7 while there are other news stories going on. What about Egypt? What about Snowden? What about the war in the Middle East? It’s this confusion that CNN isn’t there to profit from news stories, but simply to report them.
And it trickles down. Don’t let anyone tell you it doesn’t. This case has probably been upping the clicks on websites across the board.
When I blog about this sort of thing my click counts go through the roof. So there’s that intersection of this is pertinent subject matter and this is what sells.
I certainly don’t always blog about what sells. I blog about what’s important to me. What strong opinions are nagging to get out. That being said I think it’s important to know that everything you consume has a price tag on it. Controversial stuff comes with a higher price tag. In fact the reason the Weather Channel is naming storms now is because it draws clicks to their websites and ups their Google search position, it isn’t because it’s in any way easier for humans to prepare for.
We think the cover of the Rolling Stone is gross, but we just all said their name for free on social media.
It’s sort of complicated.. but also simple. You will see the news that sells until it stops selling any longer, and then you will see something else- or the next big headline.